Giants' Buster Posey wins fifth Silver Slugger Award in final MLB season

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Posey adds Silver Slugger to trophy case a week after retiring originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Buster Posey walked away from the game with one of the best trophy cases in MLB history. He added to it a week after officially announcing his retirement from the Giants. 

Posey won his fifth Silver Slugger Award on Thursday, getting honored as the best-hitting catcher in the National League. He is the fourth NL catcher to win five Silver Sluggers. The only player with more is Hall-of-Famer Mike Piazza, who won 10. 

Posey went out on top of his game, leading NL catchers with a .889 OPS and hitting 18 homers, his most since 2015. He batted .304 and slugged .499, the third-highest rate of his career. Posey led NL catchers in average, on-base percentage, slugging, OPS+ and WAR and ranked second in doubles. 

The surge came after Posey opted out of the 2020 MLB season. He returned with fresh legs and some tweaks at the plate under a new hitting staff. Gabe Kapler had Posey in the seventh slot in the lineup on opening day, but he hit homers in each of the first two games and soon returned to the heart of the lineup, where he stayed the rest of the year. 

Posey said last week that he entered the season knowing it likely would be his last, and that allowed him to empty the tank "like I never have before." The huge season never caused him to rethink his decision. 

"I can honestly say, no, playing the way I did didn't sway me," Posey said. "I think that's part of the reason that I do feel at peace with my decision, because obviously it would be much harder if I felt otherwise."

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Posey retires with the second-most Silver Slugger Awards in franchise history, trailing only Barry Bonds (9). The award is voted on by managers and three coaches from every team.

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